Wednesday, November 25, 2009

United and Hopeless

(This is in reference to the un-adulterated attack on the Indian Financial Capital on 26/11 by terrorists, an attack yet again on the Indian Conscious)

By Divanshu Arora 26TH NOVEMBER ‘08 CHANDIGARH

For the Last three days Mumbai has slept under war and woke up to it as well.

We haven’t witnessed such an attack at our nation. Bombay has been a great city that can be compared to the likes of New York and has suffered a lot but never before, have we experienced a “Fidayeen” type attack.

After seventy odd hours of unprecedented gun battle, grenade attacks, precious lives being lost and indefatigable and spirited professionals at work (both forces and media), the whole nation is glued to the Television sets showing vivid images of our Counter Strike.

Just to give you an example of the kind of circumstances emerging as a result of these attacks are that never before in our lives have we thanked god after the police and the NSG commandos pulled out 24 dead bodies from the Oberoi-Trident in Mumbai. A total aftermath is still increasing as the commandos sanitize the buildings and keep finding dead bodies all around. There’s been a baby of 6 months in the want of milk at the Taj Mahal Hotel, Foreign nationals along with Indian corporate honchos who were charred in the fire that broke out as a result of the grenade attacks by the loser terrorists. A guy was celebrating his wedding reception when he was shot dead along with some others. All this and more stories will come up and will be shown over the weekend on prime time, thanks to the media out there.

But the question still haunts me.

What are we doing? Terrorists are ravaging our home and we’re behaving like jokers in a circus and blaming it on the intelligence failure. We want better laws to save our own house from hooliganism of this sort. What do we want to become? a “police state”? This is not in isolation but exactly opposite of that. The audacity with which they’ve done everything is shivering. I mean they have the guts to storm into Hotel Taj and Oberoi-Trident.

This incident is being talked of as a 9/11 of India and there’s a hope that like the US we too will come together as a nation and our political leaders will integrate against the problem. Tough ask!!

A good sign is that Dr. Manmohan Singh and Mr. Advani have been in touch for the past few days, perhaps the frequency of calls tops in the last 4 years. But really I don’t think people care about these things. The anger is much more and concerns are far more real this time. No politician suffers as the normal Indian does but then again politicians only get top security which should be given to the people instead. If Mr. Advani goes on TV and says that today is a day to put away political differences. Well I’d say thank you very much sir, but you’re not doing us a favor. You’re only doing your bit what you ought to do. What every politician ought to do. The political bickering that goes on every day, that has gone on for ages in India has to come to a halt now and please learn to perform or perish.

Dr. Manmohan Singh’s clinical address was not apt given the situation, people look up to you with utmost hope and respect sir, I was hoping of a stronger address if not emotional. In such a crisis the father figure has a responsibility to console and reassure the kids but it was not be.

Indeed a job well done by NSG, we know for sure now that our forces are better than our politics. One good thing that the Government did during this time was that they never showed up on the site to gain any political mileage.

Although some leaders are so hell bent on earning brownie points anywhere they can.

Mr. Modi shows up and really disgusts everyone, sir we have a crisis and the last thing we want is your smart ass comments, he wants to buy popularity by announcing Rs. 1 Crore for Mr. Karkare’s family who by the way have already turned down his generous offer. Tough luck Mr. Modi, I guess you can’t buy morality with Gujarat state’s money.

The last thing our police wanted was to take extra care of our VVIP’s. Let the politicians stay at bay for once. The army personals were very brave and complimented the NSG well. It was gud on the part of the ATS to have called NSG and the Army. Unfortunately it took the lives of the three brave cops, the best in the country for the ATS and the Mumbai police to call on the NSG and the Army. It was great to see 3-4 different kinds of forces working in total sync with each other, it does bring in some hope of unity in the minds of the otherwise disintegrated population that we are.

These are the men of action and integrity. They are toiling for people who they haven’t met in their lives but still they are continuing operations for one reason, there home is under attack and they can’t stand it. The whole nation must learn the spirit and duty from these men in the uniform, especially the supporters of MNS, people open your eyes wide and see; the NSG got there and spearheaded the operations direct from New Delhi, there might have been many jawans who belong to various parts of India. The Helicopters that brought the commandos were immediately flown from Chandigarh, because that’s where the base is;

Where was your celebrated and talkative leader who asked you to tear down posters of a Mega star from the “North” and you dutifully followed. Mr. Thackeray, good job sir that you did not show up, I mean someone could have taken you as a terror threat to Mumbai.

We mustn’t forget the men, the heroes without any uniforms, but hearts of gold, the Taj Mahal and the Oberoi-Trident hotels staff who dutifully helped the guest evacuation. The anonymous helpers among the population who might have driven people away from danger, people who have fed them with food and water. I’m sure there would be people who we will never know about but have helped the victims in some way or the other.

Honestly when I hear about stoicism and the spirit of Mumbai, I just feel sad; Sad for us helpless Indians who find no solace whatsoever even in a crisis and end up in an unemotional continuation of our damned lives.

This time could be different; the anger could last much longer. This incident has no doubt broken the shackles of our indifference;

With these attacks happening so frequently these days, doesn’t it takes the gloom out of the world; I keep on thinking that this world for sure is full of love. Whenever these attacks take place, we see people in the middle of the crisis want their loved ones to know about them. There are no messages of hatred but all of them are of love.

Strange but true that world comes closer when there’s a tragedy and not otherwise.

To a person like me who’s never been to Mumbai, it is still a very precious Indian city that knows how to respect people and their dreams. My heart goes out to Mumbai but seriously I do hope that we begin to think as Indians and not as a mosaic of different races again. We begin to think as one united force of individuals who would not compromise their beliefs no matter who says what.

We are one.

We ought to be one.

But this is just a hope and we really are united and hopeless.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

We want future, not history

It was two weeks ago that the news about a new book from a prominent politician came into being. Yes I'm talking about Mr. Jawant Singh's book in which he recalls history and gives his version of what he thought about it. He mentions about Jinnah in it.. and calls him a great man and blahblah...
Sometimes I wonder whether news channel get there funding from politicians or may be its the other way round that they pay the politicians to enact a real life drama.
Because this could be the only reason why our top politicians fail us time and again by bringing such petty issues to make a complete mockery of our country. Why is a historical figure so important today that our news channels choose days of airtime for people expressing their thoughts about history and not a word about our country's future.
Aren't we facing a drought situation, have we totally controlled swine flu, is the recession off our backs. are we back to 8-9% growth, do we have gud enough roads, is the roof of our newly constructed airports not falling off, is our infrastructure strong to bear the daily turmoil.. I can go on and on but the question remains unanswered.
I remember reading a Shobha De' article this 15th August in which she mentions that India @ 60 would get a glowing certificate from its critics as well. Not at all if our politicians quit sitting on their brains and not concentrate on their own jobs.
Mr. Prime Minister was spot on yesterday when he said that infighting between any political party is not good. BJP is falling apart like a house of cards, and in their turmoil India is suffering the most... we have a weak oppostion which is never good.
Why is it so? Well they are continuing with their 'Chintan baithaks' but the answer is straight if you ask any young Indian. There is a clear disconnect between the real India and their assumed India that grew up a few years ago perhaps.
They still hope to woo the masses with their hindutva agenda ( which is a one point agenda it seems.. anti muslim) and not their right wing economic policies. They still want to live in the past and teach us history. Well for your information I dont see how is that relevant in building the India of the future.
Our politicians are more passionate about the past, not so much about the future. The younger generation today fails to understand that. Why don't they have a fanatical debate about how fast they can build a road, or feed a grief stricken village in Andhra pradesh. Have a passionate discussion about corruption in the country. Be driven to reform Bihar and UP. Work harder to give us 24 hrs of electricity for god's sake. Banning a book will not help a poor man, banning useless government formalities will.
We all have learned history and what have we learnt is that great minds have captured some of the greatest feats not in the absence of problems but inspite of them.
We in India are great at discussions not so much in action.
A patriot once wrote, "My country, when right keep it right, when wrong set it right.
People all I want to convey is that lets not get into a muddle lik pigs. We're better than this.
Let the book be what it is, banning it is foolishness in the times of internet I guess.
Meanwhile please don't worry about "History" and look into "Future".

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Swine influenza - Facts

We have had 17 deaths in the past 3 days. The Pandemic is spreading like wild fire now... As we go into damage control, there are a few precautions that can be taken by all of us.
Below is the compiled FAQ's about Swine flu.

How do people become infected with influenza A (H1N1)?

Outbreaks in humans are now occurring from human-to-human transmission. When infected people cough or sneeze, infected droplets get on their hands, drop onto surfaces, or are dispersed into the air. Another person can breathe in contaminated air, or touch infected hands or surfaces, and be exposed.

What are the signs and symptoms of infection?

Early signs of influenza A (H1N1) are flu-like, including fever, cough, headache, muscle and joint pain, sore throat and runny nose, and sometimes vomiting or diarrhoea. Like seasonal flu, swine flu may cause a worsening of underlying chronic medical conditions.

Is there any confirmation of transmission between pigs and humans at this point?


How soon can someone with the flu infect someone else?

Infected people may be able to infect others beginning one day before symptoms develop and up to seven or more days after becoming sick.

What surfaces are most likely to be sources of contamination?

Germs can be spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches his or her eyes, nose, or mouth. Droplets from a cough or sneeze of an infected person move through the air.

How long can viruses live outside the body?

We know that some viruses and bacteria can live two hours or longer on surfaces like cafeteria tables, doorknobs, and desks. Frequent hand washing will help you reduce the chance of getting contamination from these common surfaces.

What can I do to protect myself from getting sick?

Currently available seasonal influenza vaccine does not protect against H1N1 flu. There are everyday actions that can help prevent the spread of germs that cause respiratory illnesses like influenza. Take these everyday steps to protect your health:

  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol based hand cleaners are also effective.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread this way.
  • Try to avoid close contact with people having respiratory illness.
  • If one gets sick with influenza, one must stay at home, away from work or school and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them. However, if one is having any respiratory distress, one should report to a nearby hospital.

What should I do to keep from getting the flu?

First and most important: wash your hands frequently. Try to stay in good general health. Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food. Avoid touching surfaces that may be contaminated with the flu virus. Avoid close contact with people having respiratory illness.

Are there medicines to treat swine flu?

Yes. Oseltamivir is the recommended anti viral drug for the treatment and/or prevention of infection with the influenza A H1N1. If you get sick, antiviral drugs can make your illness milder and make you feel better faster.

They may also prevent serious flu complications. For treatment, antiviral drugs work best if started soon after getting sick (within 2 days of symptoms). The government has adequate stock and the drug is made available to government hospitals at the time of outbreak and would be available to you free of cost. The drug is to be administered under supervision of clinicians.

What should I do if I get sick?

If you live in areas where influenza A H1N1 cases have been identified and become ill with influenza like symptoms e.g. fever, body aches, runny nose, sore throat, nausea, or vomiting or diarrhea, you may contact their health care provider, particularly if you are worried about your symptoms.

Your health care provider will determine whether influenza testing or treatment is needed.

If you are sick, you should stay home and avoid contact with other people as much as possible to keep from spreading your illness to others. If you become ill and experience any of the following warning signs, seek emergency medical care.

In children emergency warning signs that need urgent medical attention include:

  • Fast breathing or trouble breathing
  • Bluish skin color
  • Not drinking enough fluids/eating food
  • Not waking up or not interacting
  • Being so irritable that the child does not want to be held
  • Flu-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and worse cough
  • Fever with a rash

In adults, emergency warning signs that need urgent medical attention include:

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen
  • Sudden dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Severe or persistent vomiting

Can I get influenza A H1N1 from eating or preparing pork?

No. swine influenza viruses are not spread by food. Eating properly handled and cooked pork products is safe.


* Wash your hands
* Avoid crowded places
* Stay more than an arm's length from persons afflicted with flu
* Get plenty of sleep
* Drink plenty of water and eat nutritious food


* Shake hands or hug in greeting
* Spit in public
* Take medicines without consulting a physician

For people who are sick:

* Stay home and limit contacts with others as much as possible
* Rest and take plenty of liquids
* Cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze
* Seek medical advice if needed.

Please take good care, people are dying because of this.

God Bless

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Unique Identification Cards in India _ Intro

With power comes responsibility and it is the sense of responsibility thats prevailed in Mr Nilekani.
He's a great example for the rest of the society. There is nothing more satisfying than the feeling of being able to help other people in such a way.
Experience and knowledge are two rare virtues which if implemented can produce amazing resullts.

I fully support Mr Nilekani joining hands with the UPA government. It's great.
God Bless India.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Nitty Gritties - (iPhone issues)

Well this part of the blog is dedicated to my fellow iPhone developers.
As the name nitty gritties suggests I'd be blogging about the small issues that are often not discussed elsewhere or very simply the problems faced by newbies.
This section is also the brainchild of a colleague. I'm just trying to implement and help.

Lets talk about Interface orientation in iphone.

I was bored with the plain tall look of my apps in the simulator.
I wanted to introduce my app in a horizontal way, like if you have an email app for example. It would make sense to open the view in a way that is easy for the user too especially with iPhone 3.0 OS that introduced a landscape keyboard.

I thought of trying it through code. Trust me IB is very good but if you wanna learn there are better ways.

What I did was:

1) I opened my info.plist which sits in the resources folder nice and pretty, there at the end of the properties click on the '+' button found at the right sde of every field.

2) Click on it to get a new property, and start typing Initial Interface Orientation, trust me the code sense will take charge you wont have to type the whole thing.

3) Now in the values for this new field type in right Interface orientation.
Go to the build and go. It wont work as of now because your app really wants to be shown in a landscape mode but is being prevented by the method Interface orientation in your view controller.

4) Un comment the method and type in Landscape right home only for the proper display.

Now hit build and go.
You will see your app coming out in a landscape mode.

That's it for now.
Keep the code neat and bug free. It helps ;-)


Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Allah Megh de pani de...

This is a song that I heard as a kid.. I never understood the deep rooted meaning in it then but now that we're in the middle of a drought like situation in the country, I think I know why everyone feels like appeasing the rain gods everynow and then.
Yes, you guys... we're facing a probable drought in every State of India.
As per the MET department we're short of water for over 50 % in almost all the states and in Panjab ( the state that feeds the rest of the country) the rainfall deficit is negetive. it is minus 68%. And the monsoon pattrens aren't very favorable from some years now.
We can't really do anything about the monsoon ( although some people still think holding havans will do the trick) but seriously we can save the water wherever we can.
So please people don't waste water coz it's very precious. If we don't mend our ways chances are that we won't have it to drink, forget using it for other purposes.
So please save water and do stand in if someone's wasting it in front of you.
And if you want you hum the tune also..
allah megh de ... paani de :)
God Bless.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Everything is Fresh!!

A new supermarket opened in Tampa, Florida. It has an automatic water mister to produce fresh. Just before it goes on, you hear the sound of distant thunder and the smell of fresh rain. When you pass the milk cases, you hear cows mooing and you experience the scent of fresh mown hay. In the meat department there is the aroma of charcoal grilled steak with onions.
When you approach the egg case, you hear the hens cluck and cackle, and the air is filled with the pleasuring aroma of morning breakfast cooking. The bread department features the tantalising smell of fresh baked bread and cookies. I guess No one will ever buy toilet papers from there...

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Recession Blues...

If you search for the most used words these days, 'Recession' must be a winner all the way.
no jobs for college passouts... its due to recession.
No more vacations at office, no pay hike....... recession.

Last sunday I went out to sector 22 market with my mom, I was just roaming around when I saw a tent where a 'chabeel' was being setup.
You'll find many people offering refreshing cool drinks to passer byes just to beat the heat. And its a very good way to show our concern towards the society at large.
Anyways as soon as the 'chabeel' started people gathered around it , I too was tempted to have a glass of sharbat coz it was a sunny day.
To my surprise it was just plain water that too from a tanker and no sharbat.
The person serving the water couldn't bear the expression on my face and said, "kakaji recession karke paani hi milna hun ta, sharbat bade mehnge ho gaye...

Though I've been at the brunt of it but I never applied the recession factor to our chabeel's.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Heavenly abode for Rajeev Motwani

It was quite a shock when I read that Rajeev Motwani died in a freak accident.

Rajeev Motwani was a professor at Stanford who has mentored many Stanford graduates. Very popular ones being Larry Page and Sergey Brin, founders of Google.
I have read a lot of his research work during my University project and its pretty evident that he was immaculate when it came to Databases & Data Mining. I have been following MIDAS throughout my University education. His contribution to the research community will be remembered for a long time.
I remember reading "the google story" and read about Rajeev Motwani in it.

Anything said will not suffice the genius and his work.

I pray to the almighty to provide strength to his family in this difficult hour.
I think this is a loss not only to the community but also to humanity.

God Bless.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Been Googling? Try Binging..

It was last monday at office.
I had just reached my desk, turned on my Mac, was going through my mails when I read it on a news feed that a brand new search engine has been launched by Microsoft.
The name was an instant favorite for me as its Chandler's last name.
I just had to try it out right then. I opened my browser and typed and voila..
A nice screen came up with a text field and some options here and there. The next thing I did was sign in with my account to check out the full featured beta version.
I found it very cool with all the options and the top related search strings sitting nice and pretty by the side.
Having studied about search algorithms I was really curious to use a new one and compare it to google's page rank algorithm.
Well the jury will be out there and you'll read many blogs regarding this.
Here's what I thought:
I tried the image search that has real cool suggestions for a more advanced search, like you get to choose the resolution of the images, you can chose the size, the type.
Not that google does'nt provide it but still you need to put some strings in google to look for a particular type. With bing you can do it easily because its right there.
Also when you move your mouse over your search results it actually pops out in a different window.
My work requires me to google many times a day but the last week I switched between bing and google. I even suggested many of my colleagues to try binging.
One more cool feature in bing is its video search. You'll read a lot about it, I'm sure.
When you search for a video, again the options are really helpful and suggestive but when you put your mouse pointer on any of the search result it automagically starts playing. Now that's something. The first thing I thought was, wow you can view any video without actually visiting the site on, that's a little tricky proposition you know, watching any kind of stuff without actually visitng any site. I'm sure microsoft will come up with appropriate filtering to whatever extent it's possible.
For now bing is really a refreshing change and may be a reason of discomfort for Lary Page and Sergey Brin.

Anyways you can bing as well.

What is a Cookie?

So, what exactly do we mean by a Cookie?
(First things first, by cookie we do not mean a biscuit.)
Cookies are a very very important method for maintaining state on the Web.
"State" in this case refers to an application's ability to work interactively with a user, remembering all data since the application started, and differentiating between users and their individual data sets.
(An analogy I’d like to use is my laundry man's shop. You drop something off, and get a ticket. When you return with the ticket, you get your clothes back. If you don't have the ticket, then the laundry man doesn't know which clothes are yours. In fact, he won't be able to tell whether you are there to pick up clothes, or a brand new customer. As such, the ticket is critical to maintaining state between you and the laundry man.)
When we connect to the internet for browsing we make use of HTTP, Unfortunately, HTTP is a "stateless" protocol. This means that each visit to a site (or even clicks within a site) is seen by the server as the first visit by the user. In essence, the server "forgets" everything after each request, unless it can somehow mark a visitor (that is, hand him a "laundry ticket") to help it remember.
Cookies are used to accomplish this.

Again, what is a Cookie?
A Cookie is a small bit of textual information sent by the web server to the web browser, which is again returned by the web browser unchanged, to the web server when the web browser returns to the same web page/site.
Cookies can’t create any serious security threats to the system because cookies are neither interpreted nor executed. A cookie is a text-only string that gets entered into the memory of your browser.
Why do sites use Cookies or the Benefits of Cookies? There are many reasons a given site would wish to use cookies.
· These range from the ability to personalize information (like on My Yahoo or Excite), or to help with on-line sales/services (like on Amazon Books or eBay), or simply for the purposes of collecting demographic information (like DoubleClick).
· Remembering Username and Password: many websites require user to register with them & during registration you need to specify username and password (apart from other information, of course)
· Identifying a user during an e-commerce session: Online stores make use of ‘Shopping Cart’ metaphor to allow the customers to purchase from the online store. While adding a new item to the ‘Shopping Cart’, the server identifies the customer who added the last item, using cookies.
· Cookies also provide programmers with a quick and convenient means of keeping site content fresh and relevant to the user's interests. The newest servers use cookies to help with back-end interaction as well, which can improve the utility of a site by being able to securely store any personal data that the user has shared with a site (to help with quick logins on your favorite sites, for example).
What are the problems with Cookies?
The sad truth is that revealing any kind of personal information opens the door for that information to be spread. Consider the growing trend of technology conveniences in our lives. We use "frequent buyer" cards at supermarkets and gas stations. We place electronic tags on our cars to pay tolls faster and easier. We let banks pay our bills for us automatically each month without checks. We also use a search engine to search for different stuff. While each of these technologies (and others like them) has made our lives more convenient, each time we use them exposes us to a loss of privacy. Stores know what foods you eat. Gas stations know how much you spend on gas per fill-up. Turnpike operators know how fast you drive on their highways. Banks know how you spend your money each month. The search engine remembers your last search and puts a banner advertisement associated to your search.It's the same with cookies. In fact, one may argue that cookies in the long-run will be less damaging to privacy efforts than those technologies described above. If you're going to single-out cookies as your sole vulnerability to personal privacy, you should re-examine how you live your daily life. The never-ending ethical debate associated with these facts shall be left to other forums. However, it is wise to consider carefully the information you collect and share over the Internet.


(A day after Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar recorded his yet another feat in the cricketing history books, perhaps for his greatest accomplishments the whole nation is surely delighted, I thought of writing about it.)
If I trace back to my memories of Sachin;
I’d be around 5-6 years of age when my elder sister had told me of a player called Tendulkar who was so cute, in hers and her friend’s words. By then I was aware of my fondness for the game of bat and bowl. We referred it that way; the word cricket came into our vocabularies much later.
My father, a die hard cricket fan would like to say things in Panjabi about our cricket team and how we loose our matches to my Mum, I would be listening intently to all that cricketing gyaan. He would refer to Sachin as “Nava Munda” and this “Nava Munda” was a great hit in his friends circle. All my uncles after a peg or two would be like, eeh Munda bada utte jayega (this boy will go up). As a child I would always think that utte Jana means kothe utte Jana (meaning go to the terrace), that was a lill confusing for me.
Then there was a cricket match at our very own sector-16 Cricket Stadium, Chandigarh. I wanted to go but I had to go to the school so I never made an attempt to tell anybody about my desire. I knew I’d be snubbed out rightly. But in the evening while going to Sector-17 for a normal hangout with family I heard the presentation on the loudspeaker and it went something like this, “ The man of the match is Sachin Tendulkar”, after that for the first time in my life I heard the voice of a cricketing genius. It wasn’t anywhere near to Kapil Dev’s. When Kapil dev spoke in his husky manly voice one felt compelled to listen but here was our little master with his petite girlish voice. Anyways he had automatically become my hero then.
After that if it was cricket it was Sachin for me. I’d want to emulate him in everything. I’d die to watch him play for a few moments in the sports news on DD even the poor transmission would not hamper my joy. At that age I can’t explain the feeling but I think it was my first glimpse of inspiration. What followed was nearly a religious cult. I’d read the cricket news and I’d be looking for Sachin’s reference in any which way. And it wasn’t just me there were a whole bunch of us who would be passionate about the curly haired young man. My sister and I shared our almirah and she had put up a cut out of Sachin with his huge sunglasses on. I remember spending money that I got on Diwali to poster my wall with Sachin in his stance.
It was Century number one that was much hailed in the papers and magazines. Then there was just “The Tribune” and a Hindi magazine called “Dharamyug” for us in Chandigarh.
As time passed by India saw a sense of recognition in the world as a nation with a man who was referred to as the “best” by foreigners much more times than us Indians. I felt proud as an Indian when I used to see ESPN and Star Sports commentators say, ‘Sachin Tendulkar, world’s Best Batsman’.
He played like one too for a decade to come. No one was able to touch Sachin’s vicinity. He had created the sense of aggression in the Indian way of playing the game, that’s pretty evident in the way we play the game today.
One tour that I loved was the one of Australia’s. It was our summer vacations at school and nothing could have sufficed India’s hunger for cricket. With the required amount of poise, the Aussies were welcomed with Indian journalists doing there bit of statistics and research. It was Shane Warne who was touted as the main hurdle to the Indian Master. It was also reported that Sachin had been preparing for Warne’s welcome in his own special way. What followed was a rampage by the man who was ready to be crowned the King. My most enjoyable headline in the sports page was, “Mumbai Beats Australia”.
It was Just Sachin.
The tour saw rampage and assault in the cricketing way. The tests belonged to Sachin. Every time he stepped outside the crease to Warne, his face would be like the expression ‘how the hell!’
To his surprise Sachin had made it look so easy that the team members had followed him in hitting Warne for a straight six. Navjot Singh Siddhu was always a delight to watch but when he teemed with Sachin it was special. Even Nayan Mongia stepped outside to Warne for a six once. It was all so great.
A few would have predicted what followed; the tour of Sharjah saw Sachin actually taking India’s cause alone. With his sense of eagerness and execution one could feel that this man is no ordinary.
The famous “Sand Storm Match” is engraved in every Indian heart and will prevail for posterity.
I remember picking up the editorial special of the ‘Outlook’ magazine that carried the Master’s theme. In that there were articles from the cricketing greats like Sir Viv Richards, Sir Sunil Gavaskar and many more. They all described Sachin’s panache, his humbleness, his contribution to the game.
He was India’s first Mega Star Sportsman that the world looked up to.
Yesterday when I saw him hit those fifteen runs, especially the first ball after tea when he achieved the feat; it was a delight. I’m sure it was a joyous moment for everyone who loves sports, leave alone cricket fans. Every time he bats, there are at least a few billion expectations of him. And he has carried it with grace and honor, in fact enjoyed it.
Every time Sachin had an injury or just amplified his style a bit, the whole nation reacts in a regrettable manner. The wagging tongues thrive at that point. We as a nation can tolerate corruption, social evils, mind blocks, terrorism but we find it hard to digest a dent in Sachin’s performance. I guess it’ll take a few more ages for us to grow up.
For a cricket loving nation it is definitely a point of reckoning, a point where everyone is secretly happy if not proud. I think for Sachin himself a feeling of bringing joy to a billion lives all at once must be a satisfying feeling. For die hard Sachin fans like me it’s more of an honor and a sense of pride has prevailed if I may say so.

The Ethics of Hacking

During the time of my admission in the University, once I went up to my student advisor to have a little talk, see if it really was what I wanted and whatnot. The guide asked me about my interests, and when I said computers, she started asking me about what systems I’d worked on, etc. And when all that was done, the first thing she asked me was "Are you a hacker?"Well, that question has been bugging me ever since.
Just what exactly is a hacker? A REAL hacker?
For those who don't know better, the news media (and even comic strips) have blown it way out of proportion... A hacker, by wrong-definition, can beanything from a computer-user to someone who destroys everything they can get their evil terminals into.
And the idiotic schmucks of the world who get an average running PC and a300 baud modem for Summers or Christmas haven't helped hackers'reputations a damn bit. They somehow get access to a really cool system and find some files on hacking... Or maybe a friendly but not-too-cautious hacker helps the loser out, gives him a few numbers, etc. The schmuck gets onto a system somewhere, lucks up and gets in to some really cool information or programs, and deletes them. Or some of the more greedy ones capture it, delete it, and try to sell it to Libya or some distant failing economy. Who gets the blame? The true hackers...that's who. So what is a true hacker?
Firstly, some people may not think I am entirely qualified to say,mainly because I don't consider myself a hacker yet. I'm still learning about it, but I think I have a pretty damn good idea of what a true hacker is. I’m open to any challenge. If I'm wrong, let one correct me...
True hackers are intelligent, well they have to be. Either they do really great in school because they have nothing better to do, or they don't do so good because school is terribly boring and static. And the ones who are bored aren't that way because they don't give a shit about learning anything. A true hacker wants to know everything and real fast. They're bored because schools teach the same dull things over and over and over, nothing new, nothing challenging and race for grades doesn’t help either.
True hackers are curious and patient. If you aren't, how can you workso very hard hacking away at a single system for even one small PEEK at whatmay be on it?
A true hacker DOESN'T get into the system to kill everything or to sellwhat he gets to someone else. THAT IS NOT WHAT THEY DO.
True hackers want to learn, or want to satisfy their curiosity, that's why they get into the system. To search around inside of a place they've never been, to explore all the little nooks and crannies of a world so unlike the boring lives we lead. Why destroy or vandalize something and take away the pleasure you had from someone else? Why bring down the whole world on the few true hackers who aren't cruising the phone lines with malicious intent?
True hackers are disgusted at the way things are in this world. All thewonderful technology of the world costs three arms and four legs to get thesedays. It costs a fortune to call up a board in an adjoining state! So whypay for it? To borrow something from a file I will name later, why pay forwhat could be "dirt cheap if it wasn't run by profiteering gluttons"?Why be forced, due to lack of the hellacious cash flow it would require tocall all the great places, to stay around a bunch of schmuck losers in yourhome town? Calling out and entering a system you've never seen before aretwo of the most exhilarating experiences known to man, but it is a pleasure that could not be enjoyed were it not for the ability to phreak...
True hackers are quiet. I don't mean they talk at about .5 dB, I meanthey keep their mouths shut and don't brag. The number one killer of those the media would have us call hackers is bragging. You tell a friend,” or you run your mouth on a board, and sooner or later people in power will find outwhat you did, that you are, and you're gone...
(one of my friend suggested that she’d put me behind bars, when I told her that I was hacking into some files on the server. J) I honestly don't know what purpose this thing will serve, maybe someone somewhere will read it, and know the truth about hackers. Not the lies that the ignorant spread. To the true hackers out there, I hope I am portrayingwhat you are in this file... If I am not, then I at least am saying what I think a true hacker should be. And to those wanna-be's out there who likethe label of "HACKER" being tacked onto them, grow up, would ya?Oh yeah, the file I quoted from... It has been done (at least) two times. "The Hacker's Manifesto" or "Conscience of a Hacker" are the two names I've seen it given. (A file by itself, and part of an issue of Phrack) Either way, it was written by The Mentor, and it is absolutely the best thingever written on the subject of hackers. Read it, it could change your life.Spread it around, but don't change anything please. . .

God bless India.


My Message

I have absolutely no idea how I came up with this.
I guess its more self reflective than anything. I truly believe that "honesty is the best policy".
I would love to pass on the message of "Be Good" to everyone and anyone.
It's not that you're doing good for others, I see it as a more selfish act because when you're good to others, you're best to yourself.
So its utmost important to be a good human being first and then be whatever you want to be.